Lubrizol supports community engineering by making a donation toREMAP

Lubrizol supports community engineering by making a donation toREMAP

Derbyshire chemical company Lubrizol UK has confirmed its commitment to helping engineers use their skills to improve other people’s lives by donating £500 to its local branch of the national charity REMAP.


The firm, based in Hazelwood, has once again shown its support to REMAP’s Derby, Burton and District branch, whose members design and build inventions to help people with physical disabilities live independent lives.


It is the third year that Lubrizol has supported the charity and it has paid tribute to the skills of its volunteers, who are mainly retired engineers who give up their time to design and build items such as mobility aids and wheelchair adaptions.


The charity’s branch has 21 members on its books and helps around 130 people every year. Among those benefitting this year was 10-year-old Stanley Backler, who is autistic, has a learning disability and is also non-verbal, and whose mum, Kim, struggled to find him cause and effect games that would stimulate his development and that were safe for him to play with.


Kim, from Whatstandwell, was referred to REMAP by Stanley’s speech and language therapist, who suggested one of its members might be able to make him some games to play with.


The charity in turn put her in touch with John Gellatly, a retired mechanical engineer from Duffield, who arranged a meeting with Kimberley and Stanley, to understand what was required.


Kim told him that Stanley likes posting things and moving balls through gates, which led John to design two games for the youngster.


One resembles a coin drop where Stanley posts large discs into the top and watches them bounce off pegs and fall into one of three differently coloured hoppers at the bottom.


The other involves feeding marbles into a funnel where Stanley can then move them on by turning a handle in either direction and moving a slide to send the marbles into one of three coloured hoppers at the bottom.


Kim said: “There aren’t many toys or equipment for children like Stanley to play with, so we told John how we wanted a cause and effect game that was sturdy and that he could work physically.


“John’s games are really good. They’re well-made and although Stanley hasn’t got much of an attention span, he will sit for a few minutes playing them.


“The games are at his school now and his teachers and his peers have been playing them too and they’ve been incorporated into the class’s learning.”


John has worked for REMAP for about three years and has made a number of items for REMAP down the years. He mainly works in wood and his games for Stanley were recognised this year by being awarded the branch’s annual Mike Aston Award.


He said: “I joined REMAP because I wanted to keep busy after I retired and I’ve enjoyed it because it helps people to enjoy life more.


“ I’m pleased with the games, because they encourage Stanley to work out what he needs to do in order to get the result that he wants, either by choosing what slot he puts the disc in or which way he turns the handle.


“In that way they satisfied the brief and it’s lovely to know that they have also been enjoyed by his school friends.”


Tom Grazier, vice-chairman of Lubrizol’s Charities and Community Committee, said: “We have made donations to REMAP for a number of years and stories like Stanley’s are the reason we are proud to continue our commitment.


“Our company is known globally for the benefits our products deliver to people in their everyday lives and John’s games are a perfect complement to that because his know-how and expertise has helped Stanley to enjoy the most natural activity in the world – playing,”


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